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Tularemia In The United States 2001-2010: An Interview With A CDC Epidemiologist

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According to the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that during the past decade (2001-2010), a total of 1,208 cases were reported.

On the Saturday, Dec. 7 airing of the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show, I had the opportunity to talk to one of the CDC experts who authored the report, Medical Epidemiologist with the CDCs Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Dr. Christina Nelson.

In addition to a primer on tularemia, which included, “What is tularemia?, how people contract it? and what types of disease does it cause?, Dr Nelson also went on to explain why the Midwest and Central states record the most cases and why they are seeing increases of tularemia in Massachusetts.

Dr. Nelson also talked about the biological warfare potential of Francisella tularensis and why the organism is classified as a Tier 1 agent.

Tularemia is not a common disease, but it continues to cause approximately 100 reported human cases annually in the United States and is a serious and potentially fatal disease. Although outbreaks do occur , the majority of reported tularemia cases in the United States are sporadic.

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